Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Baden woman killed when scooter crashes into store
Tom Fontaine, Times Staff
04/21/2005
Email to a friend Printer-friendly



A photographer takes pictures of the motorized scooter accident at the Northern Lights shopping center on Wednesday.
The Times / Sylvester Washington Jr.

ECONOMY - A Baden woman practicing with her new motorized scooter at the Northern Lights shopping center was killed when she inadvertently hit the scooter's accelerator and it crashed into a former department store as her husband watched.

Beaver County Deputy Coroner Bill Pasquale identified the victim as 39-year-old Sheila McCartney.

It appears McCartney died after lacerating major blood vessels in her neck when her scooter crashed into a window of the former Ames store around 7:15 p.m., Pasquale said. A formal ruling will be issued after an autopsy is performed today, he said.

According to Pasquale and Economy Patrolmen David Farah and Richard Creese, McCartney had bought the scooter, a Suzuki Burgman 400, four hours before the crash, and she and her husband, Francis, had taken it to Northern Lights so she could get accustomed to riding it.

Advertisement


Farah said the woman had been traveling toward the back row of stores in the shopping center when, as she approached a stop sign near the Altmeyer's Home Store, she apparently hit the scooter's accelerator instead of its brakes.

The motorcycle surged straight ahead toward the former Ames store, where it crashed. In the accident, McCartney's upper body went through the window before she fell back onto the sidewalk.

Pasquale said Francis McCartney, who had been standing between Altmeyer's and the old Ames store watching his wife ride her new scooter, scrambled to her side after the crash and was beside her when she died minutes later.

Joanne Barone of Rochester said she heard the shattering glass from inside Altmeyer's, where she had been shopping. "I came out and saw her on the ground with blood going everywhere. It was horrible," Barone said.

Farah agreed, calling the incident "a terrible, freak accident."

Farah and Creese said they didn't know how fast McCartney had been traveling when she crashed - and they probably will never know. "There were no skid marks (to measure to gauge the speed)," Creese said.

Tom Fontaine can be reached online at [email protected].





©Beaver County Times Allegheny Times 2005
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,402 Posts
Tragic!

Can't help but wonder if she had taken a safety course.

Imagine how her husband feels today.

He has my sympathy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
That is the most horrifying thing I've heard yet. My wife practices riding our scoot in a parking lot near the house. My prayers and sympathy go out to that family. :(

God bless them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,363 Posts
If she had done the riding course first, it would not have happened. Can't go back and "do over" and it is awfully sad.

Sometimes we sound like a stuck soundtrack advising newbie riders to take the MSF course before getting on the new scooter. There is a reason for that. Please, if you or your spouse are new to riding, don't let this happen to you. Get the training first. Ride later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
My prayers are with the family. It is hard to go back. We are a want it now society. It is just not as fun to do the safety training first. After 30 years in the fire service, I have to agree with Pauljo, Get the training, than have our fun.
It is sad to see this, but thank you for the post. I'm sure someone like me who came to this forum to learn, will reconsidered the training first.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
953 Posts
My prayers this morning are for the family of Shiela McCartney. Neal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
Paul wrote,
If she had done the riding course first, it would not have happened. Can't go back and "do over" and it is awfully sad.

You voiced what I think a lot of wanted to say but maybe thought the timing was not right.
After reading your post I believe your right now is the best time and maybe save a life.
One question stands out for me, was she wearing a helmet ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
I am very sorry it happened.
I do hope others consider taking the training course (even more) after reading this thread.
I've ridden a fair amount, had an old '74 450 Honda, a Razz Riva, etc. and I will still re-take the course before riding again. Aside from operator error (which magnifies during a panic situation) there is just no substitute for experience and the good habits the riding course provides makes for an EXCELLENT foundation to build upon. You will NOT regret it when in a lane on a freeway between 2 vehicles and one of them decides your lane is empty and they want to do some high-speed passing manuver!
Just MY take on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
My heart goes out to Francis McCartney and the entire family of Sheila McCartney at their loss. This was a sad, tragic accident.

I must say, however, that to say "had she taken the MSF Basic Riders Course the accident would never have happened" is too categorically stated. Aside from the point that we do not whether she had taken the course or not, I personally know of a similar incident involving an accidental use of the throttle by an inexperienced rider who had completed the BRC. Gratefully that occurrence was far less grievous, as nobody was hurt and the only significant damage happened to the scooter involved.

Anyway, I do highly advice, recommend, encourage, people to take MSF training. In fact, it has been three years since I took such a course, so I will be taking the Experience Riders Course on the 30th of this month as a refresher. Such training may not prevent every accidents, but it can potentially reduce the number of them and their severity through understanding and practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
I have a feeling I know what happened 'cause it happened to my mother when she tried to ride a motorcycle. Simply put, she was scared of it.

In fact, she did about the same thing in an empty parking lot except the result was, thankfully, not as bad. She was starting out in a parking lot, with me watching, on a Hondamatic 450 as scooters did not exist at that time. She was doing ok, but then she had to make a low speed turn and got scared. At that point, her body froze, including the throttle hand. She hit a curb and laid it over in the grass. Of course, she was fully dressed including long sleeves and a helmet. No damage to her, but a minor bend in the front rim. She wanted to give it a shot about a year later. She laid my dad's Helix over in a gravel driveway. With that, her days of riding were over.

Now when my wife started out on her Scarabeo, she was never really afraid of it. The first thing my wife practiced is emergency braking and emergency shutoff by using the shutoff switch on the right handgrip. But the first thing is my wife isn't afraid of the bike. Respect? Yes. Fear? No.

In reference to the MSF course, I wish the MSF would have a few scooters there also as my wife has no idea how to shift but is a good rider nonetheless.

Back to the horrific accident, it has to be considered a freak accident and no one should point fingers. I mean, it was a relatively low speed, low risk excersise that ended horribly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
My wife found out the woman's husband works at the same company as her. She is told that the woman (Sheila) was wearing a helmet which makes the accident even more freakish and sad. BTW, my wife rides a Burgman 400 as well.

Jeff in Pittsburgh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
It's these kind of accidents that have some friends tell me "I wouldn't ride one of those, they are so dangerous." But there's people that die in auto accidents all of the time, but no one is hanging up their car keys. People still smoking, still drinking, still eating like crap, but motorcycles, well, they're an easy target.

Again, I feel so bad for the husband and the guilt he must feel, but he must understand that this was NOT his fault and it was a freak accident.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Correction: They just reported on the local news that she was NOT wearing a helmet. Now it makes a little more sense to me. Her husband was instructing her. Too many people out there not wearing protective gear. It isn't until something tragic like this happens that some people see the benefit of such riding gear. Are you wearing protective gear and a helmet? I have gear for any weather condition to protect me in the event of an accident. If you don't, please think about the consequences. Life is too short to end it in a tragic way such as this and I'm sure there are people in your life who would like to keep you around for a while.

Ride Safe!

Jeff in Pittsburgh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
611 Posts
My heart goes out to Sheila, Francis, their family, and their friends. It's tragic, and I know that Francis has got to be just devastated by this.

Sheila was obviously trying to learn about her scooter, and we don't know if she had taken the MSF course or not. While I do recommend the MSF course, and I recommend always wearing a helmet - I don't think we should speculate about it.

I've been married less than a month now. But if this had happened to my wife, then I can't imagine how I could survive the loss. I can't imagine how I could even get up off of the sidewalk. And I'm sure that to hear any speculation about "If she'd have taken the course, if she'd had a helmet on" or whatever - would only make me feel like dying.

Can anyone tell us if Sheila or Fancis were BurgmanUSA members?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
The article says she died from a laceration in the neck. If this is true, than a helmet might not have made any difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
I think at this point we should all go home and hug are loved ones. Everyday is important, and life is short. A freak accident, if the cut would have been one inch either way, maybe different result. We can all learn from these events. But we continue to go forward. I think I'm going to go for a ride. Just cause it will make me feel better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Even with riding experience, it is still always unpredictable with a new bike. Burgman 400 is a very powerful machine for inexperienced riders, and I remember myself struggled to find the brakes and other things (and remember their locations) for quite a while before riding my newly purchased Burgman 650 from CT back to TX. During the practice run around the neighborhood before hitting the highway, I was startled by the acceleration and almost did not brake in time.

This news sends chills down my spine. If I were younger (and more gong ho), I may have been caught offguard and ended up in the same situation.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top